Player’s Unknown Battlegrounds colloquially known as PUBG has been in the news for quite some time now for the adverse effects it has on the players. PUBG has been around in India since early 2017. The mobile version of the game which was released on 19th March 2018 quickly started gaining popularity among the youth and became the top grossing game on both IOS and Android stores.
So, what is PUBG?
PUBG is a Battle Royale game where a bunch of mercenaries are left loose on an island to kill each other until there is only one person left standing. The player is matched up with up to 99 players from different parts of the world, parachuted on to an island which is full of weapons and supplies, and then left to kill the enemies or be killed by them. The player can also interact with other team members/players using chat option while the game is on.
PUBG became viral because it is accessible on every android smartphones and because of the unique feature of communicating with other players during the game. It is specifically popular among friend groups where friends team up with each other to form a squad and be the ultimate winner.
But within just a year of its launch in India, this game’s societal impact has been so intense that it has been banned in several states of India. Many anxious parents wanted the government to ban the game in India because it was said to affect children’s mental health and studies. The Gujarat state government has banned PUBG and one can be arrested if they are caught playing it. On 15th March 2018 due to this newly imposed ban, the Rajkot Police took 10 college students in custody and booked them under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 188 and Gujarat Police Act (GPA) 135.
Here are some incidents which led to the ban:
Goa IT Minister Rohan Khaunte has recently referred to the game as a "demon in every house". In January 2018 the Gujarat Education Department had issued a circular to the District Primary education officers to take necessary steps to impose a ban on the game in primary schools.
Addiction to this game is so severe that Two Men in Maharashtra got hit by a train while they were busy playing PUBG near the tracks.
Recently, a young man from Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh who was engrossed in playing PUBG accidentally consumed acid mistaking it for water. He was immediately rushed to the hospital where Dr Mana Gogia performed an operation on the boy’s intestine.
A young boy who had earlier secured distinction in his SSLC exam, failed his first-year pre-university exams since he wrote only about “How to play PUBG” in his Economics exam answer sheet.
Taking these incidents in mind, PUBG Mobile developers have taken steps to curb the damage by implementing digital lock for its users under 13 years of age. This digital lock system will lock out players under the age of 13 and it would only unlock at the request of their parents or guardians.